As far as first moves go, a seemingly simple gesture worked wonders in the case of Laura & Jan because the two wed at Athol Hall against a backdrop of breathtaking florals and a moody overcast day. Captured by Zoe Morley & Lovereel, Laura & Jan’s romantic & classic Sydney wedding is dreamy, wistful and so very lovely.
We’re actually pretty big fans of a simple yet sweet meet-cute, so Laura and Jan’s beginning is one that had us grinning widely at our computers AND really giving Jan snaps for plucking up the courage to make this small but effective first move! Laura remembers, “We met at a local bar in 2014. Jan approached me and asked for my phone so that he could add his number. I messaged him a couple of days later and the rest is history! As for our proposal, we were living in Prague and our parents were travelling to visit us. Jan’s came from Slovakia and mine travelled from Australia. It would be the first time that they were meeting each other. Little did I know that Jan and his Mum had had the idea that he would propose while our families were together. He ended up proposing with our families present at Karstejn Castle in April 2019.”
I walked down the aisle to “Canon D” played by a Sanctuary String Quartet. We wanted our ceremony to be light-hearted but romantic. We had the quartet playing background music and a full floral arch. The rest we kept simple with some white chairs supplied by Athol Hall. Stephen Lee, our celebrant, shared our story and we said our vows which we had written separately and were a surprise for each other.
The flowers were the centerpiece of the wedding. I left most decorations up to the venue but the flowers were one area that I knew I wanted to invest in and it paid off. I asked Lina from Chanele Rose Flowers & Styling for soft pinks, neutrals, and whites. I told her that I love roses, natives and lots of texture. My favourite detail of the wedding was the full flower arch. We moved it from the lawn inside after the ceremony which I actually didn’t plan for but ended up being the best surprise! The guests couldn’t stop talking and admiring it. It also looks stunning in the photos.
One of my favourite photos is a candid photo with my grandmother and she is laughing. I didn’t think my grandma was going to be able to attend the wedding and had actually arranged seating charts and whatnot without her, however, a couple of days before the wedding she became very determined to make it. I am eternally grateful for that and to our photographer for capturing that special moment.
My sister, Heather, was my bridesmaid and my cousin, Sean, was Jan’s best man. Covid restricted Jan’s family and friends from travelling to Australia for the wedding. We kept the official wedding party small but we wanted lots of people to feel like they were a part of the wedding. My best friend Nadine stayed with me the night before and got ready with me, my old friend Lauren had a speech and my mum and uncle were our witnesses.
As a special and sentimental token, my mum tied my great-grandmother’s brooch to my bouquet as my something old and borrowed. We plan on having a second wedding in Europe since Jan’s family and friends couldn’t make it due to Covid. That wedding will be filled with traditions, as Slovaks have lots of fun wedding traditions!
A funny story from the day was that I didn’t hire any cars or transport on the day. I was adamant on just getting an uber to my wedding, knowing that no one will see the car anyway. I thought that I should splurge and get an uber black. Well… the most scratched and dented (side mirrors holding on with duct tape messed up) Lexus shows up. I thought for a moment about just ordering a different uber but being tight for time, I wasn’t too worried. We told him that we were a little tight for time and asked that he go through the back streets. He drove so fast, my sister, who was sitting in the front, told me on a later date that she was sure that we were going to crash. When we finally arrived at Athol Hall, the photographer came up to the car thinking that it was a stranger who had gone the wrong way but instead, I popped out of the backseat laughing. It was all part of the experience and definitely makes a good story!
Our photographer was Zoey Morley. She was pregnant at our wedding but that didn’t stop her from climbing rocks and doing whatever she thought was needed to get that perfect shot! We also had a videographer Phil from Lovereel, who was honestly so lovely to have around and very talented at what he does! Zoe wasn’t completely happy with the lighting and photos during our wedding portraits so we jumped into Zoe and Phil’s cars and went around Bradley Head National Park. Totally unplanned and unexpected but totally worth it!
Another of our favourite photos is when we are on the dock. One of our close friends described the photo as looking like we are the only people in the world. When I look at the photo, I have to agree.
I booked an appointment at Fashions by Farina on George Street, Sydney. I took my mum, sister and a couple of close friends. I thought that I wanted a simple gown but I picked out a strapless Pronovias dress as a wild card to try on as well. The wild card ended up being the winner. I honestly was surprised about how all of the dresses I tried on looked and felt. They are such a high quality that I would remember thinking to myself that I would honestly be happy with almost any dress that I tried on that day. My wedding dress was a strapless fitted gown with a long train, beautiful three layer 3D modern floral lace with some sparkle. The alterers at Fashions By Farina were extremely professional and did a wonderful job at making sure the dress fit perfectly and was comfortable. I ended up selling my dress after the wedding on Stillwhite, I didn’t care about the money too much and it was sad to see it go but it felt good to sell it to someone that might not have been able to afford it otherwise and now gets to enjoy it.
I thought that the bride choosing her dress was going to be the hard part and that Jan would be happy with any suit. Oh boy! That was not the case! We went back and forth so many times but ended up very happy with a Daniel Hechter suit from Myer, Bondi Junction. A lovely dark navy blue three piece suit with a white shirt, handkerchief and a black bow tie. We told the groomsmen that they could wear any suit that they wanted, we didn’t care much about anyone matching.
We chose Athol Hall mostly for the location and view. I wanted the wedding to feel put-together and romantic but also effortless. Our venue, Athol Hall, Mosman, was so beautiful that I really wanted to keep it and the view as the focus. We only looked at two venues but when we arrived at Athol Hall we knew instantly that it was a clear winner. It has a beautiful lawn and a stunning view of Sydney Harbour.
I wanted the colours for our day to be soft and compliment the white hall and greenery that surrounded the building. I kept all of the complimentary furnishings, tableware and cutlery that Athol Hall provided and only added fairy lights, flowers and small candles. We didn’t really do any DIY for the wedding. I ordered lots of little bits and pieces from Etsy and Facebook Marketplace which I loved. I wanted to support small Australian businesses and buy some things secondhand. I loved the alcohol bottle seating chart that I ordered from an Etsy shop called Bird House. It added a cool splash of personality to an otherwise simplistic wedding.
The DJ played Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” for our first dance. We can’t dance and I forgot to pick up the train of my dress before the song started so we mostly swayed. It didn’t matter though because it was still so special.
We could not be happier with the professionalism of all our vendors. Some of them I never even saw or got to thank in person because they just came and got the job done and packed down when needed. I don’t think the day would have run as smoothly if it wasn’t for the amazing team at Athol Hall, our celebrant and MC Stephen Lee and photographer Zoe Morely and videographer Phil from Lovereel. Also many guests raved about how delicious the cake by Bre Parsons was. Two other couples have already asked me for her details for their upcoming weddings.
The wonderful team at Lovereel shot the couple’s breathtaking wedding videos!